December 12

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 12th

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Prev: December 11 - Next: December 13 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project


The American Multigraph Sales Company of Cleveland, Ohio begins manufacturing the Multigraph duplicating machine, the first commercially successful device to simplify the printing process. It was patented on March 10, 1903 by inventor, Harry C. Gammeter, a typewriter salesman. Consisting of a metal drum with vertical channels running across it, it allows laymen to arrange moveable type with a retaining foot into the channels to roll out professionally lettered solicitation letters."


Christopher Cockerell, inventor of the hovercraft, files his first patent for a hovercraft."


"The General Electric Company announces the creation of Borazon, a boron nitride allotrope harder than diamond. The substance is created by heating equal quantities of boron and nitrogen at temperatures greater than 1800°C (3300°F) under 7GPa of pressure. The material was first produced by chemist Robert H. Wentorf, Jr."


Oscar I (”Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio”), the first satellite in orbit built by private citizens, is launched on a Thor-Agena rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The ten pound satellite is carried on the Discoverer XXXVI. Once in orbit, Oscar separates from the Discoverer and begins operating as a separate satellite, transmitting the message “HI” in morris code (four dots and two dots) ten times a minute for three weeks in the two meter band. The satellite was designed and hand-built by San Francisco Bay area radio amateurs, most of whom are associated with electronics firms. It will reenter the atmosphere on January 31, 1962 after making 312 orbits."


Over-the-air subscription television (pay TV) is formally adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a regular United States broadcast service.


Apple Computer becomes a publicly held company, selling 4.6 million shares at US$22 per share with the stock symbol “AAPL” on the NASDAQ market. The shares sell out almost immediately, and by the end of the day, the stock will increase in value by almost thirty-two percent to close at US$29, leaving the company with a market value of US$1.778 billion. More than forty of Apple’s one thousand employees and investors become instant millionaires. Steve Jobs, the largest shareholder, makes US$217 million dollars alone, while Mike Markkula makes US$203 million, an incomprehensible 220,700% return on their investment. It is the largest initial public offering in the US since Ford Motor went public in 1956. Apple will not initially pay dividends on its common stock." "Oil tycoon Armand Hammer purchases the thirty-six sheet manuscript Codex Leicester by Leonardo daVinci at an auction at Christie’s in London for US$5.28 million, the highest price ever paid for a manuscript. Written from 1506 to 1510, the manuscript covers daVinci’s observations and theories a wide variety of topics, ranging from astronomy to hydrodynamics, all written in his signature mirror writing, as well as in more than three hundred pen-and-ink sketches."

The United States Congress amends the Copyright Act to extend federal copyright protection to computer programs in the same manner as literary works.


DallosDallos, the first-ever anime Original Video Animation (OVA) is released. In it, mankind has moved from a drained Earth to the Moon. Rebel acts of terrorism lead to conflicts with the Earth Federal Government. A mysterious entity called Dallos appears to restore hope. Running time: 30 minutes"


The original hard drive for FidoNet #1, the computer of Fido founder Tom Jennings, suffers a catastrophic failure, leaving the BBS running on two floppy drives."


"Atari Games files a lawsuit against Nintendo in US District Court in San Francisco, California, claiming Nintendo has used monopolistic and exclusionary business practices by placing security chips in the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and game cartridges. Atari Games claims US$100 million in damages, and announces that they have developed a compatible security chip so that Atari Games and Tengen can compete with Nintendo in cartridge production."


"A ceremony is held in Thailand at which Monks pray for the success of a new Texas Instruments, Inc. computer chip plant that will be built there."


NEC Home Electronics releases Ah! My Goddess for the NEC PC-FX.


The webmaster of the Atari Historical Society website, Curt Vendel, receives a letter from Nolan Bushnell praising him for his dedication and work maintaining the Atari Historical Society website. “In many ways, it’s like a family album,” writes Bushnell.


AOL announces that it has achieved twenty-six million subscribers worldwide.

Intel reveals that it has created the smallest and fastest Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) transistor yet. It is thirty nanometers and three atomic layers thick. Intel claims it will enable microprocessors within the next ten years to contain more than four hundred million transistors and operate at ten Gigahertz (GHz) at less than one volt.


AMD releases the 1600 MHz Athlon MP 1900+ processor, featuring a 256KB Level-2 Cache and a 266MHz Front-Side Bus.


Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) releases the PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld video game system in Japan. It features a 333 MHz MIPS R4000 CPU, a Memory Stick port, a USB port, a Universal Media Disc (UMD) drive, 4.3-inch 16:9 ratio 480×272 pixel display, Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, a headphone jack, speaker. Batteries power the unit for about four hours. Two hundred thousand units of the device are initially made available, all of which will be sold out in the first two days. The device is available in one of two bundles. The basic package contains the console, battery, and AC adaptor for ¥20,790 including tax (US$193). The “Value Pack” contains the console, battery, AC adaptor, a 32MB Memory Stick Pro Duo, headphones with remote, slip-case, and wrist strap for ¥26,040 including tax (US$245)."


AMD releases the 2800MHz Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (F3) processors, featuring two 512KB Level-2 Caches and 1000MHz HyperTransport.

AMD releases the 2800MHz Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (F3) processors, featuring two 1024KB Level-2 Caches and 1000MHz HyperTransport.

Hewlett-Packard announces that it is acquiring Knightsbridge Solutions, a business data warehousing consultancy based out of Chicago, Illinois. "

Red Hat begins trading on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) under the symbol “RHT”, moving from the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) where it was initially traded after its initial public offering (IPO) on August 11, 1999. CFO Charlie Peters cites three reasons for the company’s move from the NASDAQ to the NYSE: increasing Red Hat’s visibility among investors, reducing trading volatility, and offering more efficient pricing.

Version 2.3 of Torrentflux, a multi-user GUI for BitTornado.


Nortel faces delisting after being below $1 a share.

GMail gets a PDF viewer option


The website and back-end database of was published on Pirate Bay. It included source code, employee messages, usernames and passwords of 1.3 million users, email addresses and more.


YouTube changes policy for Live stream options. They lifted subscriber limits to stream

Instagram introduces Instagram direct

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